December CFO Insight: Richard Stoffelen from Centogene
Richard Stoffelen is the Chief Financial Officers of Centogene – an international privately owned BioTech/HealthTech company, based in Germany. Here he tells us about what it’s like to be the CFO of Centogene and offers his piece of advice for other financial directors. What were the goals that you arrived with when becoming the […]
Richard Stoffelen is the Chief Financial Officers of Centogene – an international privately owned BioTech/HealthTech company, based in Germany. Here he tells us about what it’s like to be the CFO of Centogene and offers his piece of advice for other financial directors.
What were the goals that you arrived with when becoming the CFO of Centogene over a year ago?
My primary goals were to professionalize the finance department of this fast-growing company, to raise a first round of external capital (Round A/Pre-IPO funding), and to prepare the company for a successful IPO.
Would you say that you have started working towards accomplishing them?
Together with the existing and new Management Team and greatly supported by the Sr dir Corporate Finance/Investor Relations, we have been very successful so far, which was confirmed by successfully raising €25 million in the Round A funding.
Currently, we are working on the further continuous growing of the company and its processes, and towards the IPO plans in the near future.
What is the company’s growth strategy? What part do you play in it?
The company has been on a great growth trajectory ever since its foundation about 10 years ago. We have positioned Centogene in the international medical diagnostics field. We grow very fast in our pharmaceutical segment, where we deliver services to the global orphan drug developing companies: a.o. patient screening programs, assistance in drug-discovery and –development programs, longitudinal monitoring programs, developing biomarkers for monitoring the patients and improving the early diagnosis.
My role in all of this is to support the strategic business, with adequate financial modelling, planning, budgeting and funding.
You have over 25 years of broad experience with international audit functions – how did your career path lead you to becoming the CFO of Centogene? Which one of your experiences was foundational?
After being in the Audit profession for a long time, a lot of the roles I had played in that field have contributed greatly to my new role:
· Running an office, and being part of the management team of KPMG for the south of the Netherlands has strengthened my managerial experience.
· Doing management development roles in KPMG in the Netherlands, Hong Kong and China was a crucial experience that helped me in the development of the new management layer at Centogene.
· Working on business development in audits in the past has provided me with valuable knowledge in relation to doing what I do now when securing funding for Centogene.
· Working across the world in various roles proves to be extremely helpful in a managerial role, especially in a company with employees from over 30 countries.
· Having been involved in many strategic processes, helps me tremendously to look around the corner of the pure finance function, which is crucial to deliver on all the needs for a modern CFO.
What is your motivation behind working for a biotechnology company?
It is fascinating to be at the brink of many new developments that really make a direct impact on the lives of many people around the world.
It is fascinating to be in this fast-moving industry, where new opportunities arise on a daily basis, and where we, as management, have to make important choices on a daily basis in relation to the right opportunities to pursue.
Where do you see Centogene in 3 years? What does the future hold for the company?
In my opinion, Centogene will expand significantly in 3 years and will be delivering even more services to patients and the orphan drug industry, having an even bigger impact on people around the world – and not just patients and their families, but also on investors in both our company and the orphan drug manufacturers.
What would be your top three tips for other CFOs?
1. Be aware of the business needs, don’t focus solely on the finance role.
2. Always be prepared for the unexpected.
3. Enjoy what you are doing and cherish the contribution you can have in the development of your company.
Centogene – The rare disease company
Transforming global genetic date into medical decisions.
While only a small number of people are suffering from a singular rare disease, 350 million people worldwide are suffering from rare diseases, whereas 80% of rare disease are caused by mutations in our genome.
Centogene is ideally positioned to serve and support patients and physicians worldwide while accelerating drug discovery and development of orphan drugs.
· we are the sole provider of a GLOBAL perspective to >3.200 rare diseases
· we close the gap between the diagnostic and therapeutic hemispheres
· we continuously translate scientific discoveries into innovation like new biomarkers and novel molecular tests to guide drug development and clinical practice
· we leverage our vast –omic data to support the development of the personalized therapies of the future
· we have the largest genetic mutation database (CentoMD®) regarding rare diseases with patient date from over 115 countries worldwide